Dining out on New Year’s Eve is as much about location as it is menu options. Because, face it, almost every joint is serving lobster and filet mignon.
The trick is finding a restaurant near where you want to be after the clock strikes midnight, whether that’s home, a club or a hotel.
Here are five New Year’s picks, from North Miami to Homestead, that promise to pair good food with good times. Plus, a burger suggestion for New Year’s Day, when lobster and Champagne are the last things on anyone’s mind.
Go fish in Brickell
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Chef-partner Kareem Anguin, a Miami Herald 2015 South Florida Food 50 winner, is offering a three-course New Year’s Eve menu for $85 at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Mary Brickell Village. Options include vanilla-infused lobster bisque, a surf-and-turf plate with lobster tail and filet mignon, whole fried Key West hogfish with duck bacon fried rice, and Nutella beignets with The Frieze sorbet.
The Oceanaire, 900 S. Miami Ave., Miami; 305-372-8862, theoceanaire.com.
Holiday in Homestead
An open bar is included with chef Dewey LoSasso’s four-course NYE dinner for $125 at The Redlander Restaurant at Schnebly Redlands Winery in Homestead. Beginning at 8:30 p.m., revelers can share stone crabs, yellowtail ceviche, lamb chops and wild boar quesadillas before moving on to Florida lobster salad with pickled beets, seared black grouper and Florida filet mignon, then finishing with jasmine avocado rice pudding, local guava goat cheesecake with Key lime sabayon and more.
French flair in North Miami
Chef Neal Cooper has assembled a French-inspired NYE a la carte menu for Petit Rouge French Bistro in North Miami. Appetizers include potato pancakes topped with smoked salmon, caviar and chives, foie gras served hot or cold, and tuna tartare with French beans and quail egg; entrees also skew fancy, with classics like Dover sole and tuna niçoise playing alongside rack of lamb and crispy duck. Prices from $16 to $65.
Sizzle in South Beach
Eat chef Danny Elmaleh’s Mediterranean food in lively South Beach at one of two NYE seatings at Cleo: 6 p.m. ($125) or 9 p.m. ($150). His lengthy menu plucks from the restaurant’s many highlights, including spicy beef cigars, grilled hanger steak and kale flatbreads. After 9 p.m., the party moves upstairs to the Redbury’s rooftop terrace, featuring cocktail specials and a complimentary midnight Champagne toast.
On the river in Miami
Swanky Miami River restaurant Seaspice has three price levels — $500, $750 and $1,000 a person — depending on how (and where) you want to experience a four-course menu that features a foie gras torchon, porcini mushroom risotto, butter-poached lobster and more. The entry-level option includes a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and seating in Seaspice’s main dining room; a $750 ticket upgrades the bubbly to Dom Perignon with riverside seating in Seaspice’s Modern Garden; the top price also fetches a bottle of Dom as well as a waterfront table on Seaspice’s outdoor terrace.
All that wining and dining on Thursday night is going to lead to some serious brunch cravings the next day. Many restaurants are open on New Year’s Day, but we’ve got our eye on Icebox Cafe in Miami Beach. Among other holiday specials, the restaurant is offering a Hangover Burger with cheddar, a fried egg, bacon, hash browns and Cajun hollandaise for $14. Available 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. New Year’s Day.
Icebox Cafe, 1855 Purdy Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-8448, iceboxcafe.com.